Chainsaw Safety Gloves - Everything You Need to Know to Pick the Perfect Pair
Thursday, 24 September 2015
It almost goes without saying that if you are using a machine designed to make light work of chopping down trees, you do not want to get your hands in the way if you can avoid it. Chainsaws are readily available for anyone and everyone to buy and can help take the effort out of cutting wood and felling trees – but the risks are plain to see. We will not go into the gory details, but here at Safety Gloves we are firm believers that it is best not to cut corners with your chainsaw protection. We have an extensive range of chainsaw gloves that are suitable for budding amateurs and professional tree surgeons alike but choosing the right pair can seem confusing. With that in mind, this article aims to give you all the necessary technical know-how to make an informed decision as to which gloves are best for you - so where to start?
Chainsaw gloves need to be strong and durable without any loss of dexterity. This is what we recommend to look for in a chainsaw glove:
Now for the more technical parts...
EN Standards – What and Why?
Here at Safety Gloves we are big on EN standards and you will see them mentioned a lot throughout our site.
EN ratings are important as they offer a clear comparison between similar products with a guarantee that they have all been independently tested to the same standards.
When picking a pair of chainsaw safety gloves there are three main EN standards to bear in mind: EN 381-7, EN 388 and EN 420.
This is by far the most important EN standard applicable to chainsaw gloves because it is designed solely to test suitability for use with chainsaws. EN 381 covers chainsaw clothing as a whole, with -7 referring to gloves. Each glove is tested by being put in contact with a moving chainsaw at different speeds until it cuts, which then gains the glove a classification. The different classifications are shown below:
The higher the class, the better the protection offered. Chainsaw protection gloves must carry the EN 381-7 standard mark to show that they are EU approved and have undergone the necessary tests.
Another standard to look out for is EN 388. These tests assess a gloves’ physical resistance to common mechanical hazards, namely abrasion resistance, cut resistance, puncture resistance and tear resistance. Chainsaw gloves tend to be used in harsh environments so it is crucial that they are durable enough to withstand general wear and tear – an EN 388 rating provides this peace of mind.
Resistance to abrasion is an key facet of chainsaw gloves. Sawdust and chippings that come into contact with the gloves can cause them to deteriorate over time so it is important for the gloves to be able to withstand the prolonged friction. Abrasion resistance is measured on a scale of 1 to 4 by taking a sample glove and seeing how many cycles (abrasion by sandpaper under a stipulated pressure) is required to abrade the glove.
Cut resistance allows you to handle sharp objects without risking injury to your hands. EN 388 measures cut resistance on a scale between 1 and 5 by determining how many continuous cycles are needed to cut through the exterior of the sample glove.
Resistance to tearing is another important factor for chainsaw gloves as chainsaws do not cut like a knife but rather rip and tear when in contact with material. Tear resistance is measured on a scale between 1 and 4 by finding the amount of force that is necessary (in Newton’s) to tear the glove.
To measure puncture resistance, the amount of force required to penetrate the glove with a standard sized point is measured. Please be aware that the highest level of puncture resistance may not protect against very sharp points such as glass or needles — please check the individual product pages for more information.
The table below shows a summary of the tests and possible scores within the EN-388 standards:
The final EN standard to bear in mind is EN 420. This covers basic requirements in terms of safety and construction, for example:
EN 420 also ensures the gloves are also sized according to an agreed European common hand size, so that there are no discrepancies occurring between different brands or different styles. The sizing is explained in the description of each product.
Here are a few examples of our excellent chainsaw gloves: